Post # 1
Long time lurker here and need some advice. My SO (24) and I (29) have been dating for over 4 years. We met in college and lived together for 2 years. Like any relationship we’ve had our ups and downs, and we always work it out because we know we are in it for the long haul. In August he moved 1,400 miles away to pursue his PhD while I stayed to complete my Master’s degree in education, plus I got a job teaching.
<br />I found out he was going to propose on our 3rd anniversary trip, but then he freaked out because he wasn’t ready. I think his negative views on marriage are a big factor in that and they come from his mother. For example, he comes from a home where he never met his dad. His dad was married and his wife was expecting their 3rd child when my SO’s mom got pregnant. Also, the only marriage he saw was his mom and his ex-step-dad’s. Ex-step-dad was married when they met and throughout their relationship he was a habitual cheater and manipulator. This made his mother really bitter about marriage and now she likes to make comments about how we shouldn’t get married because it will only ruin things and end badly, or if he was to get married he should wait until he is in his thirties.
<br />Since he moved he has been asking me to move to be with him. I will finish up my degree this summer, but I don’t want to move out there and leave my job, friends, and family without an engagement. I feel like making a huge commitment moving out there and he doesn’t have to.
<br />I have asked for a timeline but he doesn’t plan for the future, he is more of a present-now type of planner, so he couldn’t give me one. He does see a therapist and the last time I visited him we did a couple session and he said he could see us having two kids in the next 6 years and sees us being together forever, but he isn’t ready for marriage even though the only reason he would get married is because I want to. However, he has said he does want marriage someday. I’ve asked him why he isn’t ready and he can’t come up with a real reason. I also asked him for a compromise about me moving out there, but all he suggested was he would pay for my moving expenses.
<br />I do love him and want to be with him, but I’m old fashion and want the meaning, commitment, and all the benefits of marriage.
<br />I really don’t know what to do. Any advice would be appreciated.
Post # 2
Under the circumstances you’ve described I would not move.
Post # 3
“I’m old fashioned and want the meaning, commitment, and all the benefits of marriage.”
There is your answer. He is unwillng to give you what you’re seeking (a timeline and a marriage commitment.) Unless you’re willing to remain a girlfriend for the forseeable future, and perhaps forever, you would be wise to stay where you are.
Post # 4
I personally would not move that far without a serious commitment first. Imagine if you made the move and he couldn’t come through with a proposal. Are you okay with being a girlfriend forever? Are you okay with having kids with a man you are not married to?
Having kids is a far bigger commitment than getting married. I never understand why people would be willing to have children yet not be able to put the ring on the finger.
Post # 5
If you want a proposal and long term commitment via marriage, but he freaked out about proposing but now wants you to move, it would send the wrong message to move without a proposal.
You need to be clear at all times about your goals.
Post # 6
I’m in agreement with the previous posters!
Your comment is bang on! “Having kids is a far bigger commitment than getting married. I never understand why people would be willing to have children yet not be able to put the ring on the finger.”
Post # 7
I did it twice. Was it worth it? Did it work out? I’m not sure.
In either case, the results were the same. We took a nice relationship that had probably almost run it’s course and instead by moving, made ourselves totally dependent on each other. Knowing only each other in a new city, or moving to his city and knowing only him, put a lot of pressure on the relationships and made it impossible to walk away.
In both instances, I got what I wanted- commitment, marriage, engagement. But neither of those guys were anti-marriage to start with. Frankly, we weren’t right for each other either. We loved each other, but we should have let each other go.
Post # 8
I was in a similar situation (SO moved for a PhD program, I was ready for marriage, he wasn’t ready yet) and I didn’t move until we were engaged. I felt that I could only leave my job and friends if it were to truly start a life with him. It took him a while, but he proposed when he was ready. I knew he was the one, so I didn’t mind waiting.
I think in your case the age difference may be playing a part, too. Most 24-year-olds in PhD programs are not at all ready to settle down, get married, have kids. They’re just focused on their studies. However, at 29 I’m sure you’re thinking about having a family. My Fiance and I are the same age, so we didn’t have that conflict to deal with.
If he’s truly the only person you can see yourself with, then it’s worth the wait. If you don’t think he will ever come around and you cannot be happy without marriage and kids, then it could be time to move on.
Post # 9
It seems as though you’re hesitant to move, and rightfully so! I know being that far apart is hard, but you don’t seem to be ready to literally be uproot your life for this man. A large scale move like that is stressful in its own right. When you compound the strain of your incongruent views on marriage with being in a totally new place knowing only your SO, it will likely be extremely difficult and add more stress in your relationship. You moving there without the commitment you’re seeking would make the relationship heavily weighted toward his needs/wants rather than a deserved compromise. However, I don’t think it would be the right thing for your relationship to bring it to an ultimatum either, i.e. “I’ll only move with a ring on my finger”. Think about – and discuss with him – what it is about being engaged that would make you willing to move across the country to start a new life with him. He clearly has a few marriage-related issues he is still working through, so focusing on the meaning of the commitment rather than the commitment itself may help him open up further to the prospect of getting engaged. At any rate, I would give it a few more months to sort out your feelings, allow him to progress in therapy, and reach a compromise you’ll both be happy with.
Post # 10
I wouldn’t do it since you’ve said yourself you want the marriage, and benefits of marriage, and the commitment. Remember that, don’t change what you want becuase he wants you to move. He can show you commitment without you needing to move just yet. You are not his mother or his father, he needs to move away from his insecurities and realize that you deserve an engagement if he wnats you to make commitment that far away.
Post # 11
It seems like, to him, that engagement and marriage aren’t important. Even if he does propose before you move that doesn’t mean that he will agree to a wedding anytime in the near future. You should probably have a heart to heart with him. Tell him what you expect from him in the future, what it will take for your to move, and that you really want a concrete date for the engagement and the wedding. I also think that it is time for you to do some soul searching. Could you see moving out there and spending your life with him, but possibly never getting married, or do you absolutely require getting married someday before planning a family? It really is all based on what your personal preferences are.
Post # 12
Well, moving a distance is normally a bad idea, it puts you in a really awkward situation as you could end up stuck there. Then again, a friend of mine from high school moved years ago to be with her boyfriend on the other side of the country, and they did eventually get married and have a son. So it’s not impossible. The thing is, I wouldn’t recommend it until engaged, and even then, I’ve seen situations where that didn’t work out either.
Post # 13
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
He’s 24….most guys that age are just not ready for marriage, even if you are the one they will end up marrying! I think it comes down to, are you willing to give up on the relationship because he’s not ready for marriage? Or is it worth it to move and be with him and wait? Sounds like the ball’s in your court.
Post # 14
I think that it clearly sounds like he isn’t ready to get married. I think a lot also depends on where your SO is from. I grew up in the south, and down here everyone gets married young. Most all of my friends were married either in college or RIGHT after finishing. A handful waited a couple years after college, but not long. My DH grew up in the north, and at 33, most of his friends he grew up with STILL aren’t married. It’s just a totally different mindset up there, and even though my DH had been living down here for 15 years, it didn’t change his vision on when people get married.
I personally did move with DH a few states away before we were even engaged. I had no doubt we’d one day get engaged, so I was willing to move. Only you can decide if you should move. Everyone has a different relationship. In your shoes, I probably wouldn’t move, simply because it sounds like he isn’t ready to get married and you clearly want that. Are you prepared to move and just wait until he’s ready? It’s not an easy road to be on.
Post # 15
I’ll pretty much echo what many other bees have said–be wary of giving up everything when he won’t make it worth your sacrifice.
I’m also speaking from personal experience when I say that. This is not quite the same thing, but eight months ago I was engaged to my ex-FI and moved across the country (alone) so I could set up a place for us to live so he could go to grad school that fall. I did everything I thought I was supposed to–quit my job, moved in with his family, and got a new job to start saving up for a place for us to live. After all that he started to really hem and haw about the whole thing and broke up with me. I was devastated, and it damn near broke me. I was fortunate enough to be able to come home and to stay with my parents (and get my old job back), but it’s a miracle that things even worked out that way.
Maybe I’m kind of jaded now, and I understand getting married is scary and a risk, but so is moving 1,400 miles away with no gaurantee. I know he said he’ll pay for moving expenses, but a monetary commitment is really not enough in my eyes for what you’re about to do.